days stephanie recast mashup
Credit: Peacock (2), Jill Johnson/JPI (2)

The return of a legacy character was originally supposed to be a jaw-dropper of a reveal. But you know what they say about the best-laid plans…

When Days of Our Lives: Beyond Salem, Chapter 2, pulls back the curtain on Abigail Klein as Steve and Kayla’s daughter, it’s going to be a moment for sure. But her debut as Stephanie was hoped to be a moment with a capital M.

Mary Beth Evans, Stephen Nichols, Wally Kurth"Days of our Lives" Set NBC Studios Burbank 03/15/21 © XJJohnson/ 310-657-9661 Episode # 14125 U.S.Airdate 06/16/21

“You’re who now?”

Credit: Jill Johnson/JPI

“We were playing around on how best to introduce her,” headwriter Ron Carlivati tells Soap Opera Digest. “I had an idea that we ended up not doing.”

To paraphrase Grease, tell us more, tell us more! “In Episode 1,” the scribe continues, “I wanted you to see her played by Shelley Hennig, and something would happen to her, and at the end of the fifth episode, she’d be injured in the hospital, and they would take the bandages off and it would be our new actress. You’d be like, ‘It’s a whole new Stephanie.’”

Shelley Hennig"Days of our Lives" Set NBC Studios Burbank 10/15/10 © Paul Skipper/ 310-657-9661 Episode # 11489 U.S.Airdate 12/24/10

“Wait… is that a full moon?”

Credit: Paul Skipper/JPI

Alas, it simply was not to be. “It turned out,” Carlivati says, “that Shelley was working on the Teen Wolf movie, so we couldn’t do our wink-wink to the audience and the face change. So we just introduced Abigail and didn’t injure her face.” (Get all the details on the Teen Wolf movie via our sister site TVLine.)

While you adjust to Days of Our Lives’ new Stephanie ahead of her arrival on the daytime drama, reflect upon some of soaps’ all-time best recasts in the photo gallery below.